Part of a continuing series of Califone guest bloggers.
I have three scenarios I often find difficult to deal with when teaching young English language learners. Scenario one is when I first walk into the room and try to motivate the children to choose to speak English. Scenario two occurs after the class ends. I gush to parents about how their children spoke and sang in English. Immediately, the parents ask the children a question in English and expect responses in English. I have yet to hear any of the children speak the English when put on the spot. Scenario three occurs when parents beg me to help their children with their pronunciation.
I have found that technology does a much better job of helping me deal with these scenarios effectively. For this reason, I was excited when Califone contacted me to test their 8102 2-Position MP3 Listening Center. The MP3 player has incredible features, such as allowing two students to record their voices and listen to the recordings. The MP3 player is extremely user-friendly for children and educators. The MP3 player is very light and small, which makes it portable and easy for my five-year-old students to handle.
“The MP3 player has incredible features… is extremely user-friendly for children and educators… and easy for my five-year-old students to handle“
For our first activity, I had my students work in pairs to record themselves interviewing each other. Listen to the first interview. This was recorded within a minute of the two girls completing the worksheet I gave them of questions. They are both beginners. Notice their mistakes even with their answers written. The students then listened to their recordings to evaluate what they did wrong.
Then I had them do the recording two more times and all improved. Listen to the second recording with this pair. This entire lesson took me about fifteen minutes including set-up. The students thought it was fun and immediately began correcting their own grammar and pronunciation errors. The device is set-up for students to work in pairs, which is really what I enjoyed. Immediately, the students corrected the grammar and pronunciation errors of their peers. They also helped each other understand the directions I was giving. I hardly did anything and the children really enjoyed the lesson. Plus, I was able to have a recording to share with the parents. Our next project is to create a student directed podcast for our sister school in Turkey.
Shelly Sanchez Terrell is a technology teacher trainer, English language teacher, and consultant for various language institutes, online schools, and educational organizations in Nepal, the US, and Germany. Explore her Teacher Reboot Camp blog for tips on professional development and integrating technology effectively into the classroom. She can be reached via Twitter, @shellterrell.
Read the previous guest blog by Donna Scott on using media players in the classroom.